Herbarium at Lytes Cary Manor

It’s not every National Trust property that puts on a sculpture exhibition. So, it was a pleasure to visit  Lytes Cary Manor in Somerset and find Herbarium demanding a perusal.

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Curated by Yvonna Demczynska from Flow Gallery, London the sculptors used as their inspiration the 1578 Niewe Herball translated into English by one of the Manor’s owners, Henry Lyte (and viewable at the Manor).

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The sculptures are dotted around the courtyard and the garden.Now, as this blog suggests I do like sculpture but this was a challenge in several ways. While the sculptures themselves are interesting to look at both in isolation and in situ in the grounds, there’s very little information around about the who, how and why of the exhibition.

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Visitors are given a flyer on the way into the grounds, and a single booklet on the artists and the sculptures is kept in the Great Hall of the Manor. That really detracts from the experience of the exhibition. We know where the jumping off point was for the artists, but no more. For example, we know the name of artists involved, but not who created which sculptures.

I think it’s a missed trick by both the National Trust and the organisers, especially given the stated aims of the exhibition are to ‘inspire and challenge’ audiences and ‘raise the quality of craft seen in Somerset’.

But it’s still definitely worth going to see. It’s on until 30th September 2016 and you need to pay entry to Lytes Cary Manor to visit it.

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